Contributor, Sports+Fitness Network
Response: Crossfit. I think that Crossfit has been good for fitness, as it has brought high intensity, sport-like training to the masses. There are many, many good things about it. There is probably one bad thing about it -if you can even call it bad… In a nutshell, too many people begin Crossfit before their bodies are ready for that kind of volume and intensity. I think that one would do well to TRAIN for Crossfit for months to undo all of the things that life has given an individual -sedentary behaviors, long-times spent seated & slouched, years (sometimes decades) of deconditioning, weight gain, and poor eating habits, weak core/foundation, poor posture, tight anterior structures, weak posterior structures, little-to-no cardiovascular conditioning . . . I could go on, but I think you get the picture. What I am saying is that I believe that Crossfit should be the goal for the vast majority of the typical out-of-shape Americans. And, in my experience as an Athletic and personal trainer, too much – too soon, is a recipe for disaster. As a comparison, this is not unlike someone who, at 50 years old, decides to run a marathon that is 16 weeks away after 25 years of “life” like I described it above. They end up sick, injured, or overtrained. So, my answer to folks who want to do these things is not “no”, rather it is “not yet -because we have some work to do first…” So, once they are ready -Crossfit (or marathon training, for that matter) is a wonderful thing!
Student: Thank you!!! CrossFit…while I am an advocate of CrossFit, I don’t think it is the end-all-be-all training form. It is amazing and has done amazing things for fitness and sport, as you said, but there is certainly room for the other training regimes as well, you know? It bothers me to see CrossFit so “clicky” & where those that do not CrossFit are shamed by those that do. I absolutely love your approach to the question, that CrossFit, or any other hybrid or extreme training should be the goal. I especially love the way you put it with the answer not being “no”, rather, “not yet”. That is perfect. I agree with you professor, that too much too soon is a recipe for disaster, and currently, CrossFit fosters that, unfortunately. One of my goals has been to figure out how to fix that. Those, at least in my experience, that wish to CrossFIt, want to go for it! Like right now –at this very moment! They want to snatch their bodyweight, do muscle-ups, and operate at 110% for 40 plus minutes, where in reality, some can’t even operate at 50% for 10 minutes! CrossFit has evolved quite a bit and will continue to do so. What used to be just a crazy workout posted to a website who’s mantra was specializing in not specializing has morphed into specialization with powerlifting, strongman, kettlebell, endurance, gymnastics, etc., and even certifications. I think CrossFit is getting away from its original mindset and methodology. They constantly bang heads with science and just about every fitness entity out there, for whatever reason(s). I could go, but I’ll say this; all in all, I love Crossfit. I just hate to see people get hurt by doing what you said happens often, too much too soon.
This is a good example of students learning how to apply scientific principles to evaluate what is being offered in the marketplace. Come back next month when the conversation will continue…